Effort to Create Statewide Power Department Surges Forward

A group looking to replace private utility companies with a statewide provider of electricity has the go ahead to collect signatures for a ballot measure.

Backers of an initiative to create a publicly owned utility to provide electric service to much of the state, replacing privately owned utilities such as Southern California Edison, were given approval today to begin gathering signatures by Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

The California Electrical Utility District Initiative would allow publicly owned utilities such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power the option of joining the statewide utility or remain independent.

The initiative would create an 11-member Board of Directors elected by the public to operate the utility.

Initiative proponent Ben Davis said passage of the measure would lower the cost of electricity to all consumers in the state, encourage new business development, create jobs, enlarge the tax base and improve the economy.

The measure would result in a substantial net change in state and local finances, according to an estimate prepared by the Legislative Analyst's Office and Director of Finance Ana J. Matosantos.

Valid signatures from 504,760 registered voters -- 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 general election -- must be submitted by July 1 to qualify the measure for the November 2014 ballot.


Do you think the government could provide electricity more efficiently and affordably than the private utility companies such as Southern California Edison?

- City News Service

Yeparoo February 05, 2013 at 11:03 PM
"Comments to the contrary are generally made by people who do not seem to want the country to grow appropriately as we need." If your definition of 'grow properly as needed' is an expanding economy, I'm with you. Unfortunately, the economy, when measured by wages, is not growing. Large companies and multinationals are profitable with large cash reserves (in general). Sadly, wages are flat. If your concern is the "little people," you should really be concerned that he Gini coefficient index that measures the gap between income distributions has grown more in the last 4 years than the previous 8 years. Honestly, as long as the economy continues on the no growth path of the previous 4 years, with inflation, you will feel like you are getting smaller every year.
Beverly February 06, 2013 at 12:16 AM
This would just one more thing that our government would run into the ground. Has our government ever shown to be able to handle anything. Leave this to the private companies as it is now or else we will be paying much higher utility bills and getting less service. LESS GOVERNMENT PLEASE.
Dr. Zillman February 06, 2013 at 05:13 AM
Let's not even give this any attention or consideration, until we have completely instituted major pension reform for government workers. Then I might look into the concept. For about 30 seconds.
John Webb February 06, 2013 at 11:55 PM
Does anybody know anything about the Ben Davis mentioned as a supporter of this plan? Does this story have anything to do with Barbara Boxer going after SoCal Edison and the San Onofre Nuclear Plant? Sure are a lot of smart people here in California. Ban plastic bags, shut down electricity plants and turn it all over to the State Government with their history of success in handling everything they attempt. Hey Rick Perry, stop trying to steal our businesses for Texas and spend your time trying to lure our politicians to your state. You guys could use some of these people to really get Texas going.
Mike F February 09, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Southern California Edison is a compay run by Democrats and a state monopoly as is Pacific Gas and Electric among others. SCE failed in it's oversight of the standards, the manufacture, the shipping, the inspection, and the installation of the replacement generators. It was reported that the unit 3 brackets were not tightened. Pacific Gas and Electric blew up a neighborhood with natural gas. California citizens need competition in both energy and water. The Democrats, running the state, say no. The Democrats have already said that they plan on eliminating nuclear generated energy in California. California needs clean and safe nuclear generated energy and water for Orange County andSan Diego County just inland of San Onofre, and for Imperial County at the Salton Sea. The Democrats say no and have a program to ration both electricity and water. The Democrats look at citizens as the masses - third class.


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